Why Embedding Matters

Lately, I’ve been thinking about what a new embedding strategy for Mozilla might look like. Mozilla has a great deal of history with embedding, and Gecko has long been (and still is) used in a variety of products besides Firefox. But lately the organization hasn’t prioritized embedding, and the options for it have dwindled.

Nevertheless, embedding still matters for Mozilla’s primary rendering engine, including the recently-announced Quantum, because it provides the “web compatibility defense” of expanded and diverse market share.

The more the engine is used in the world, and the more familiar web developers are with it, the more they’ll consider it (and web compatibility generally) when designing and building web applications.

Embedding also matters because users of web software (like a web browser) benefit from a fast and secure rendering engine with a user-friendly feature set, whether or not that software is provided by Mozilla.

Mozilla can mediate the Web most directly with Firefox itself, but it’ll never be the only provider of web software, and it can extend its influence (albeit with less control over the experience) by enabling other developers to reuse its engine in their products.

Finally, embedding matters because open source software components benefit from reuse, which increases project participation (bug reports and fixes, ports, market research data, etc.) and improves those components for all their consumers, including their primary/original ones.

“This technology could fall into the right hands.”

Over the next few weeks, I’ll blog more about the kinds of use cases an embedding strategy might address, and the kinds of projects that might satisfy those use cases.

Note that this is my personal blog (although I’m a Mozilla employee), and nothing here should be construed to represent official Mozilla plans and priorities.

 

Myk Melez

Myk is a Principal Software Architect and in-house entrepreneur at Mozilla. A Mozillian since 1999, he’s contributed to the Web App Developer Initiative, PluotSorbet, Open Web Apps, Firefox OS Simulator, Jetpack, Raindrop, Snowl, Personas, Firefox, Thunderbird, and Bugzilla. He’s just a cook. He’s all out of bubblegum.

 

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